The word "Remastered" in videogames

  • Hello guys, just wondering if the game "The Last of Us" was the first game to use the word"Remastered"? I remember that they used to be called "HD" or something like "definitive edition" instead of "Remastered" but now after The last of us they almost always only use "Remastered", for example in the old days the new "final fantasy VIII remastered" probably them will be called "Final Fantasy VIII HD", all of this is meaningless lol but want to know if this is right

  • I think Ducktales Remastered used that word earlier, it was released in 2013. Dunno what game actually did it first though.

  • Perhaps but I swear God of War HD Collection wrote on the box “Remastered in HD” so it’s kinda been around since maybe 2009.

  • According to Exophase it might be Crysis Remastered for PC.

  • According to some random video game database I pulled off of the Play Store, the oldest game with "Remastered" in the title is Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror Remastered, released December 2nd, 2009.

    Bonus Information:
    Oldest "HD":
    Stronghold HD, released 10/22/2001

    Oldest "Definitive Edition":
    Dishonored: Definitive Edition, released 10/07/2013

    Oldest "Deluxe" is a little harder to find, but possibly Asteroids Deluxe, released in May 1981.

    Side note: video game databases are barely functional, for some reason. Why can't I sort my results by year, Mobygames?

  • @lakest said in The word "Remastered" in videogames:

    Hello guys, just wondering if the game "The Last of Us" was the first game to use the word"Remastered"? I remember that they used to be called "HD" or something like "definitive edition" instead of "Remastered" but now after The last of us they almost always only use "Remastered", for example in the old days the new "final fantasy VIII remastered" probably them will be called "Final Fantasy VIII HD", all of this is meaningless lol but want to know if this is right

    It's certainly not the first, but since this generation "Remastered" became the more prominent word.
    and the reason for that is pretty clear, you can't call a port of a PS3 or 360 game "XXXXXXX: HD" because usually those games were already HD or perceived as being HD (a ton of games were actually sub HD, like the CoD games usually ran at around 640p, and that wasn't unusual, the PS3 version of GTA4 ran at 640p as well while on 360 it was HD at 720p... same story with Red Dead Redemption)

    This means there would be some confusion if they called it "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare HD", even tho the original version was not HD on last gen systems making this version the first true HD version on console. because people just assumed those consoles played games in HD across the board, which obviously wasn't the case but have fun explaining that to the general public...

    and on top of that technicality, "REMASTERED" sounds way more impressive... GTA Vice City HD just tells me they made it run at a higher resolution, while "REMASTERED" tells me they changed more than just the resolution, remastered instantly gives the impression of a more thorough upgrade to more aspects of the game.
    so it does not only save the not so tech-savvy general public some amount of confusion, it also acts as a better punchline for the PR department.

    But I think back when "HD" was still the "hot shit" as the youngens would say (insert "hello fellow kids meme") it actually served its purpose, because back when HD was a new thing it was a great PR move to use it in your rerelease's title.

  • Fully realizing that nobody asked for this, I've been looking for excuses to practice pulling datasets from the internet and working with them. So I give you this:

    Game re-releases and how they are named

    0_1560995711636_Remaster Counts2.png

    0_1560995720905_Remaster Stacked2.png

    Before I go on with commenting on the charts, there are a few things about the data that you should know:

    • All of this data is being pulled from the database.
    • For two of the terms, deluxe and hd, I hit the cap of requests to the database. This means that I could only pull 200 games, but there are more games in the database that aren't included in the analysis. HD, in particular, fell victim to me not putting a space before the term, so words that just had an "hd" in them were returned. While those games aren't included in this analysis, hitting that 200 cap pretty seriously skews the data. This is a relatively easy error to fix, but with such a stupid analysis, I'd rather just take the hit than go back to work where my Python compiler is, haha.
    • Especially for deluxe and dx, many games are titled in a way that makes it hard to tell whether the term is meant to indicate the game was re-released, or just to put a fancy word in the title. More on this later!
    • 124 games were missing release dates. There's no way of telling how the 124 missing dates would skew the data without going back and filling those in!
    • I removed 2019 and later from the analysis; not all games have been announced for those years, so I didn't want to make it seem like the terms were trending downward just because there are fewer games overall.

    The first chart is just a column chart of each term; the more games released with that term in the title in each year, the higher the column. The lines take the average between that year and the year before (so at 1990, the line will be at the average between 1989 and 1990).

    The first thing that pops out to me is a huge validation for @kevboard ‘s comment about how HD fell out of style once HD became the norm. There’s a large spike around 2012, which falls off pretty quickly; even falling off completely at 2015! (PS4 released in 2013) With this much missing data, we can’t say that there was never a game released after 2015 with HD in the title, but it would stand to reason if that were the case.

    I'm also surprised by the spike in deluxe at 2017. Like I mentioned earlier, it's hard to tell with a lot of these titles whether the "deluxe" was because they were re-releasing the game, or just putting a word in the title that makes the game sound interesting. A lot of this seemed to happen around those games that you would see for $5 at Walmart; hidden object games, Bejeweled clones, etc. My guess is that around 2017, there was a phase where developers would throw "deluxe" in the title of games (especially on Steam) just to make it seem loud and dynamic and interesting.

    Without checking all of these games (igdb actually has a field that might make this easy to do, but again, Python is at work), there's no way of knowing, so they're just included as-is. Also, it does kind of make sense to include them; developers name their games "deluxe" to make it sound better than "normal," so it's not completely incorrect. It does skew the relationship to the other terms; you can't use "Remake" in the same way, for example.

    I think it's interesting that HD and remaster have a sort of inverse relationship that starts around 2013. It's really why @lakest started this thread! Even though, yes, HD is now the norm, I think this supports the idea that developers are using "Remastered" for the same purpose they were using "HD." Remake has a bit of a different connotation, so I'm not sure it will share the same relationship with remastered, but it does seem that nobody used Remake until recently.

    Now for the second chart:

    The second chart is a clustered column chart that compares across the terms. It's really meant to give you an idea of the "naming culture" of the time. For instance, if you walked into a game store and looked at a shelf labeled "new re-releases," what words would you expect to see the most? Of all the games re-released that year, the size of the bar represents the space on the shelf taken up by each term.

    Again, deluxe seems entirely over-represented. But with this chart, the impact at 2017 doesn't seem as intense. In fact, in the 2010s, deluxe is taking up less space on the shelf than ever before, since all terms are now being used.

    The remaster gap from 2002-2007 I think is mostly due to the missing data. I can't imagine they stopped making remasters completely, although to be honest, 2000 is way earlier than I was expecting that to start. (PS2 released in 2000) I also expected definitive to show up a lot earlier.

    That's all I got for you today; let me know if you ever want to see something like this again!

  • @inflorescence The best things come when no one asks for it. This is way cool.

  • Deluxe/DX or Definitive edition are multipurpose, so no wonder Deluxe especially is so highly represented here.

    Deluxe could mean it's just a new release with additional content, or all previously separately sold content bundled in one package, same with Definitive edition
    BUT they can also mean it's a remake or Remaster, giving it even more use cases!

    Remastered/HD are very limited words all in all, Deluxe and Definitive Edition are not. see Mario Bros. Deluxe, Links Awakening DX or Tetris DX on gameboy Color
    While Super Mario Bros. Deluxe is basically a Remake (with very similar graphics but still heavily altered and most of it had to be re-coded I imagine), the other 2 are merely colored remasters of previously released GameBoy games
    or DMC - Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition and Castlevania - Lords of Shadow: Definitive Edition
    DMC is a remaster with a lot or added gameplay features, gameplay tweaks and additional content, while Lords of Shadow is just a bundle with all the already released content with no additional work whatsoever put into the game